• jalexanderapr

2020: Off and Running in St. Louis

Hello all! It has been quite some time since I last posted to the blog. Life got in the way and my fingers just could not find time to write. Today I am confined to my home waited on a delivery. Yes, you know how it goes. Three-hour window. Given the expected weather this afternoon, I am hopeful that the delivery will arrive today. Well, on the positive side the delivery has given me time to write.

I finished the semester attending graduation. I try to be there when I can to wish my students well as they begin a career journey. This semester the speaker was an alum from the Dept. of Communication, Marie Casey. Marie has built a storied career in communication. Be sure to check out her website.


Over the holiday break, I visited the new St. Louis Aquarium. I met Nugget, the tortoise. Nugget is tiny now. I look forward to watching him grow into his new Midwest home. Check out the photos from my visit. Shark, stingray, jellyfish, starfish and sea dragons!


I begin a new semester renewed and excited. I have spent some time working on a new (new to me, that is) teaching technique. I am not the type of professor who feels the need to read the textbook to my students. I expect that they can read and process the information. That being said, I acknowledge that students may have difficulty connecting what they read with the work we are doing in class. Therefore, I am trying a new technique borrowed from my colleague Professor Shannon Arndt.


Simply, students are required to take notes from the reading. Matching the concepts they read with the intended outcomes of each chapter. There are also some questions to answer that will help me prepare the classwork based upon the students' notes. Fingers crossed that this works!


In other teaching news, we are excited to have two paid interns in the Dept. of Communication & Media this semester. Be sure to follow the UMSL Dept. of Communication & Media LinkedIn page, and Twitter feed. The UMSL College of Arts & Sciences will also launch a social media strategy this semester.


Added to all of my school projects, I have been invited to speak at two different audiences on two different topics this semester. I will be speaking to 100 public affairs officers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March about public relations ethics, and speaking at Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in April about inclusive language in public relations.


Remember that quilt I was making? The Let It Snow quilt. I finally finished piecing the top! WooHoo! Happy Dance emoji here. Quilting is the next step. However, I have been advised to work on a smaller project. The long-arm quilting machine is more complex than I first thought. So I will be starting two twin size quilts for the grandkids room. Then I will quilt all three projects over the summer.


Whew! We are off to a fabulous start in 2020!

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